• Former President Barack Obama will get paid $US400,000 for an hour's lunchtime speech to the Cantor Fitzgerald Conference. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast

    by Anne Summers     Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast Et tu, Barack? That was my reaction when I heard the news that former US President Barack Obama has agreed to a speaking gig on Wall Street for which he will be paid $US400,000 ($535,000). Not bad coin in anyone’s language. It’s twice what Bill Clinton commanded when he went on the post-presidential … Read More


  • Illustration ny Matt Davidson

    by Anne Summers       Illustration by Matt Davidson Last November millions of Americans, especially women and girls, were devastated that Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate ever to seek the office of US president, was defeated by Donald Trump. Apart from fear at what kind of president Trump would be, there was widespread mourning that a woman candidate … Read More


  • anne_summers

    Here is the text of the Occasional Address I delivered at the University of Sydney on 3 May, 2017 after I had been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University:   It is a truly wonderful honour for me to stand before you today to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from this hallowed University, Australia’s first, established … Read More


  • Suicide pic

    By  Anne Summers The recent revelation that each day more than eight Australians kill themselves was startling and confronting but perhaps even worse was learning that another 200 of us attempt suicide every day and do not succeed. We should be grateful to Julia Gillard, the former Australian prime minister who was recently elected the chairman of the board of beyondblue, … Read More


  • M Turnbull

      By Anne Summers Photograph by Alex Ellinghausen   It was 1964 when Donald Horne wrote in his totemic book The Lucky Country that our politicians “cling to power but fail to lead” but he could just as well have written it last week. When a prime minister goes on television and promises he will provide “leadership”, as Malcolm Turnbull … Read More


  • equal pay

    By Anne Summers It really is scarcely believable that pay inequality between women and men is still an issue in 2017. Not only do women on average earn at least 20 per cent less than men, but in some sectors the gap is actually growing. This is despite innumerable court victories and other measures, including anti-discrimination laws, designed to ensure … Read More


  • Malcolm Turnbull

    by Anne Summers Photo by Alex Ellinghausen Is the government of Malcolm Turnbull just totally inept or is it actually cruel? You have to wonder given its fiscal attacks on some of the most vulnerable and needy members of our society. It’s not just that the government proposed cutting the dole to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or that … Read More


  • Crystal Howe

    by Anne Summers Photograph by Crystal Howard It has the potential to become as potent an international symbol of protest and resistance as the iconic 1960 Alberto Korda photograph of Che Guevara that has for decades adorned millions of T-shirts, or the early emblem of the women’s liberation movement: the clenched fist inside the symbol for women. I’m talking about … Read More


  • Trump inauguration

    By Anne Summers As we all wait in fear and trepidation to see what the new US President Donald Trump will do, to his country and to the world, including our region, it is utterly dispiriting to realise how ill-equipped our own political leaders are. They are not providing us with guidance or reassurance and so we can have little … Read More


  • honours

    By  Anne Summes Many Australians like to think of the British as stuffy, toffy and class-bound by their centuries of royal and aristocratic hierarchy and privilege. This view was reinforced by the parliamentarians’ expenses scandal a few years back, when we chortled over the British MP claiming for the maintenance of his moat. We Aussies are exactly the opposite. We … Read More